Tag Archives: don’t be a dick

Earl Grey, Hot

We have made it to the weekend! The combo of vacation allergens and the return of the Portland spring/winter have kicked my butt. I’m sucking down tea, and sleeping a ton, in the hopes that I can stave off getting even more sick. At least I have fun things to read.


The two dino nerds, photo credit Dylan Benito.

I’m thankful that I managed to get a few things done before I started feeling poorly. Mainly, I got to go see Brian Switek read at Powell’s! Then I took him out for beer. It was the Portland thing to do. I have been following Brian’s blog, Laelaps, for a number of years, and we recently started talking on Twitter. I was very excited to hear that he had written a second book, My Beloved Brontosaurus, and was coming to Portland on a book tour. The book is great. It is engaging, has a ton of scientific facts, and manages to be fun, and funny. It is a must have for the dinosaur enthusiast.

Thank you for coming to Portland, Brian, and letting me take a goofy photo of the two of us.

I managed to find some great links this week too. As always, there is a ton of great science in the news.

  • Per the title of this post, from Space.com, 3D food printers in space! Of course, the first thing printed will be pizza. My StarTrek dreams are that much closer to being realized.
  • Do you have blue eyes? I do, and it seems that we share a blue-eyed common ancestor. Science Daily reports the blue eyed mutation is found at the same spot for everyone, on the OCA2 gene.
  • I have two great pieces to share that Carl Zimmer wrote: the first The Girl Who Turned to Bone, a story of fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva.
  • The second, and your autism article for the week: the genetic cause of autism may be found on the MET gene. MET is a gene found in both humans and dogs, and may be part of serotonin transfer. MET could be a good place to research cause and effect.
  • Since we are on a Dinosaur kick, how about an article about Dino poop?
  • Straight from Wil Wheaton’s mantra, “Don’t be a dick.” Scientists have found a way to train people not to be jerks. I like this idea.

That’s what I’ve got for the week, now I’ll be going back to bed. I hope you all have a fantastic, health-filled weekend. I’ll be back on Monday with the grammar lesson for the week. Any suggestions?

As always, thanks for reading, please share. 

Gendered Pronouns

I thought I would write a quick post about gendered-pronouns. Gendered-pronouns (GP) are those little things that help people figure out who they are talking about. She had red hair, green eyes, and is taller than Lilly. Or, he wore a ball cap and saggy shorts. Makes it easy, right? Not always. There are many people out there who don’t go by a specific GP, or they go by a different GP than you think they would. Some people don’t like the whole gender binary thing, and want something neutral to go by. So, where do we go from here?

Gendered-pronouns 101: My favorite way to go is to use they. Some grammarians out there will tell you that using they as a non-gender-specific-pronoun is incorrect. I say, hogwash! They can be especially helpful when writing copy. I don’t assume that I am writing for a specific gender, so why would I use he/she, or the horrible (s)he, when I’m writing. They works great.

Gendered-pronouns 201: If you know a person, or group of people and know their specific GP, use it! Some people like using he or she—even more so if it fits with their gender expression. There are also ze, zie, zir. If you have a group of friends, and have heard these expressions, try them out. Your friends will appreciate the effort. Along these same lines, there are ze, sie, hir, and others. Check out the chart.


Really, one of the best things you can do, is learn someone’s name, and use that. It is surprising how easy that can be. If you take a bit of time to listen and figure out what GP a person prefers, it can save you a whole lot of trouble. Or, if you are feeling confident (and nice, not jerky) ask the person in question what GP they prefer. You might make a new friend.

Thus ends my gendered-pronoun lesson. Thanks for reading, please share.